Sunday, April 30, 2006

Q14 A13: Whether the knowledge of God is of future contingent things?

Yes. God knows future contingent things because they are subject to the divine sight in their presentiality (yet they are future contingent things in relation to their own causes).

God knows all contingent things not only as they are in their causes, but also as each one of them is actually in itself.

And although contingent things become actual successively, nevertheless God knows contingent things not successively as they are in their own being (as we do) but simultaneously.

The reason is because His knowledge is measured by eternity, as is also His being; and eternity being simultaneously whole comprises all time (Q10, A2).

Hence all things that are in time are present to God from eternity, not only because He has the types of things present within Him, but because His glance is carried from eternity over all things as they are in their presentiality.

An analogy: He who goes along the road, does not see those who come after him; whereas he who sees the whole road from a height, sees at once all travelling by the way.